Understanding the Human Person: Contemporary Neuroscience and the Rational Soul

Daniel De Haan

University of Oxford

The Catholic Church teaches that each human being possesses a spiritual soul, made in the image of God, and that is the form of the body. Today advances in modern neuroscience unveil profound connections that exist between the structure and functioning of the brain and our cognitive and sensate activity. In this context how can the thought of Thomas Aquinas and his hylomorphic account of the spiritual soul help us to understand advances in neuroscience and their profound compatibility with a traditional Catholic understanding of the human person?

This talk is part of the conference The Spiritual Soul and Contemporary Neuroscience: A Thomistic Perspective, which was held at the Angelicum on 1 December 2018.

Dr. DeHaan is a Research Fellow in Natural Theology at the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion and the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford. He has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of Leuven and University of St Thomas in Texas. His research focuses on philosophical anthropology and the sciences, natural theology, and the thought of Thomas Aquinas.